Getting a divorce is almost always a complex and emotional process. However, the already complicated process of dissolving a marriage can quickly become even more strained when your spouse lives in a different state. Suddenly issues such as jurisdiction and personal court appearances become far more difficult to deal with. Thankfully these issues can be made a bit easier with the help of a divorce lawyer regardless of how far away your spouse may live.
Dealing With Issues Of Personal Jurisdiction
When both spouses live in the same state and county, the issue of personal jurisdiction is clear cut since the court automatically has personal jurisdiction over all residents of the county where the court is located. However, if only one spouse lives in the county where a divorce petition is filed, the court will need to establish authority otherwise known as jurisdiction over the non-resident spouse.
The most common way this happens is by the non-resident spouse voluntarily waiving personal jurisdiction. The problem is, if your spouse is not willing to waive jurisdiction so that you can file for divorce in your state, you will need to file in the county where your spouse lives in order for the case to be heard. If your spouse lives a considerable distance from you, traveling back and forth to file paperwork and attend court dates may be out of the question.
Hiring a divorce lawyer in the jurisdiction where you plan to file your divorce case will allow this attorney to perform many of the case-related tasks on your behalf. In fact, in many cases, judges will even agree to allow you to attend court dates either via telephone or video conference while your attorney appears in person on your behalf. This can ultimately save you a ton of money on travel costs.
Dealing With Issues Of Conflicting Laws
The laws regarding issues such as child custody and support can vary from state to state. However, these laws often play a major role in any divorce settlement. For example, if a married couple has children while living in a state that does not automatically split legal custody between the parents in the absence of a formal custody agreement, there may be issues of law that need to be addressed if one spouse then moves to a state that does offer implied custody laws. Issues such as these can make any divorce case extremely complex when one spouse chooses to contest certain aspects of the divorce settlement. In these situations, an attorney will be necessary to help you navigate the court process and ultimately achieve a successful outcome.
Contact a divorce attorney for more information.